January 31, 2007

Bajrang Dal activists held for robbing foreigners

(Indian Express
January 31, 2007)

Bajrang Dal activists held for robbing foreigners
Milind Ghatwai
Madhya pradesh: Were tipped off S Africans were carrying beef, turned out to be pork, chicken

BHOPAL, JANUARY 30: Acting on a wrong tip-off, Bajrang Dal activists on Monday beat up two South Africans, accusing them of carrying beef, near Bhajipani village in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh. The activists also damaged the vehicle in which the foreigners were travelling to Nagpur and snatched their mobile phones and wallets.

According to reports, the foreigners — Gordon (44) and Jacob (52), both working with Western Coalfields Limited — were carrying broiler chicken and pork when a group of around 15 Bajrang Dal activists stopped them. The activists accused them of carrying beef and beat them up.

Chhindwara Superintendent of Police R K Sihore told The Indian Express that a case of dacoity has been registered against the Bajrang Dal activists. Sihore also said that four of the activists have already been arrested and the others would be taken into custody soon.

The victims were on their way to Nagpur — the headquarters of WCL — since one of them was to leave for South Africa after catching an evening flight to Delhi.

Both were attached to the Tansi Project.

The two were allowed to leave for Nagpur after a thorough medical examination. A senior police officer said that the food samples found were examined at a veterinary clinic and they turned out to be pork and chicken.

“If they had any such information, they should have alerted the police rather than taking the law into their own hands,” Chhindwara Superintendent of Police R K Sihore said, worried about the fallout of the incident.

Bajrang Dal’s founder member in Chhindwara and regional convener of the campaign, Raju Charnagar, admitted that the tip-off was wrong. He blamed it on elements who were at the receiving end of the campaign, which had saved hundreds of cows from being slaughtered.

“We are ashamed of what we did, but we were misled. We will publicly apologise to the foreigners if required,” Charnagar said adding, “but our campaign will continue.” He, however, blamed the villagers for the theft of phones, wallets and a laptop. “The police should also inquire who were behind the theft,” he said.

The Dal alleged that thousands of cows are transported to slaughterhouses in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra via the Chhindwara border. Sources in Parasia and Chandameta police stations admitted that the Dal activists were active in the area and often liased with the police to rescue cows.

“Usually they surround the vehicle and do not allow the people inside to leave until the police arrives,” a constable said. In December, they reportedly succeeded in catching four minority community members, including two women, with beef and handed them over to the police.

The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has decided to award stringent punishment for cow slaughter as the present legislation has failed to be an effective deterrent. The Bill to this effect is likely to come up in the February session of the Assembly.

Recently, a series of bandhs had been organised by Hindu organisations to protest the recovery of a large number of carcasses near Mandsaur town.

January 03, 2007

Rewriting Rajasthan's history important: RSS


Rewriting Rajasthan's history important: RSS

January 03, 2007 18:34 IST

Brushing aside Congress' apprehension of Hindutva agenda in the academic curriculum, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Wednesday hailed Rajasthan's Bharatiya Janata Party government for its move to rewrite the state's history.

It said that the move would delete 'unscrupulous facts' mentioned in textbooks against heroes and leaders.

"History books need improvement and correction as there are a number of citiations where Maharana Pratap, Guru Govind Singh and ex-rulers are being misquoted or defamed in the school and college curriculum," RSS' kshetriya seva pramukh Moolchand Soni told reporters.

RSS has constituted a committee called the Itihas Sankalan Samiti in the state and at the central level and the Rajasthan government's steps towards a campaign on Apni Dharti, Apne Log (our land, our people) was in the right direction, he said.

The Congress alleged on Tuesday that the ruling BJP was trying to tamper with historical facts of the state in a bid to enforce its Hindutva agenda.

"The re-writing of history of Rajasthan's villages is irrelevant and unauthentic. We will not let the state became a testing laboratory for Hindutva agenda," state Congress chief B D Kalla said in a statement.

Rajasthan's Education Minister G S Tiwari announced on Sunday that his department would soon compile historical and cultural facts related to over 41,000 villages for new textbooks.